Soy vey! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still debating whether or not Americans are confused by non-dairy plant-based foods having labels that include terms like “milk” or “yogurt” (i.e. almond milk). And despite surveys and studies that show consumers are conscious and aware of their buying decisions, Big Meat and Dairy and the Federal Government, two peas in a pod, are still asserting there is confusion in the market with such labeling, and the FDA is asking for our feedback. Of course, this “debate” is simply the result of the meat and dairy industry feeling threatened by the steady rise of the plant-based food industry, but let’s just humor them for a moment so we can finally be done with this nonsense once and for all.
As with most documents drafted by government entities, the request for consumer feedback is verbose and laden with jargon (“standardized” versus “nonstandardized” foods, etc.), but do not let that deter you from speaking up and stating your viewpoint.
The main gist of the request is such:
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) invites comments on the labeling of plant-based products with names that include the names of dairy foods such as ‘milk,’ ‘cultured milk,’ ‘yogurt,’ and ‘cheese.’ We are interested in learning how consumers use these plant-based products and how they understand terms such as, for example, ‘milk’ or ‘yogurt’ when included in the names of plant-based products. We also are interested in learning whether consumers are aware of and understand differences between the basic nature, characteristics, ingredients, and nutritional content of plant-based products and their dairy counterparts. We are taking this action to inform our development of an approach to the labeling of plant-based products that consumers may substitute for dairy foods.”
Feedback can be sent electronically or by written mail, and it can be done anonymously if you prefer. The deadline for feedback is November 27th, but do not wait to speak up! For detailed instructions on how to submit your feedback, go here.
The FDA must move forward with the times and adjust its regulations to match the current habits of Americans. Plant-based alternatives are not going away any time soon — in fact, the industry is booming with global plant-based milk sales expected to reach a value of $16.3 billion by the end of 2018! Due to health, animal welfare, and environmental concerns, people are ditching dairy at an all-time high, with many dairy farms being forced to shut down, and the wise farmers switching to growing plants like almonds instead. The U.S. produces far too much dairy, so much that there is a current stockpile of cheese the size of the Capitol building! Rather than continue to combat plant-based foods, Big Meat and Dairy and the Government need to accept that plant-based foods are the way of the future and are here to stay. And health, animals, and the environment aside, isn’t a competitive market what the American economy is all about?
Please make sure to SHARE this with your network and encourage your friends and family to join you in sending feedback to the FDA!
To learn more about trends in the plant-based food space, be sure to check out the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast!
Image Source: Pixabay
To comment with the FDA click the "request" link above, and then the "regulations.gov" link. It\’s down about 4th under "What\’s Trending", at the moment.
Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3522 for “Use of the Names of Dairy Foods in the Labeling of Plant-Based Products.”